The recruitment process
Our dedicated recruitment officers can answer any questions you may have and offer any support you need throughout the process.
Click 'register your interest' and complete our online application form to begin your journey to becoming a Police Community Support Officer today. Once you’ve completed your application form, it will be shortlisted against the entry requirements and behavioural competencies of a PCSO. You should therefore complete it fully and carefully, providing strong examples to back up your answers.
Click here for a sample Police Community Support Officer role profile, to see the competencies you’ll need to demonstrate in your application.
30 minute telephone interview.
Once you have submitted your application form and been successfully shortlisted, one of our dedicated recruitment team will contact you to arrange a telephone based interview and will provide you with details on the interview content.
The next step is the assessment centre which will involve the below:
1. Fitness test:
Don’t be daunted by the name – it’s more of a fitness check to ensure that you are physically capable of performing the role of a Police Community Support Officer.
2. Observation exercise:
A relaxed group exercise assessing your interaction with other candidates.
3. DNA & biometrics:
A simple fingerprint & saliva test.
4. Identification verification:
You will need to bring two forms of identification (ID), one of which must be a photographic ID such as passport or driving licence.
5. Police initial recruitment tests (PIRT):
A selection of multiple choice tests on numeracy, accuracy and English.
Submission of required paperwork
You will need to bring your completed documents as advised in your invitation to assessment centre.
New Police Community Support Officers will take part in a seven week learning programme.
- To become a Police Community Support Officer, you will need to be successful in our recruitment process. The following information will help you work out if you are eligible and will explain the recruitment process. If you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- You must be aged over 18 to apply
- You must meet our entry requirements
- You must be available to attend all of the stages of the recruitment process
We welcome applications from people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, gender and sexual orientation. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants will need to meet, so you need to check that you meet our requirements before submitting an application.
Vetting and why we need it
The police service is committed to maintaining the highest levels of honesty and integrity and to preventing corrupt, dishonest, unethical or unprofessional behaviour. Vetting helps support this, reducing the risks of unauthorised disclosure or loss of sensitive police information.
Public confidence in the police is crucial, particularly as we "police by consent." Public confidence in policing depends on officers, staff, Specials and volunteers demonstrating the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour.
The public must have confidence that police vetting processes are effective in identifying those who might pose a risk to the community. The police service must also be alive to the threat from organised crime groups and others who might try to gain access to police systems and intelligence.
Vetting helps identify people who are unsuitable to work in the police service. This includes those who are unsuitable through criminal activity or association, those who have a clear lack of honesty and those who are financially vulnerable.
Vetting helps us to maintain a healthy organisation.
Please note the following is provided as guidance; any successful application is assessed on a case by case basis and is subject to an individual successfully passing vetting.
The Chief Constable reserves the right to reject any application.
Previous convictions and cautions
You will be expected to detail all convictions and cautions (including those spent). Police National Computer (PNC) records will be checked and any omissions could affect the outcome of the vetting process. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. This information will NOT be divulged to your family or employer. For more information please visit the home office guidance on recruitment: click here to view on the www.gov.uk website.
AApplicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you’re a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain. All applicants must have been resident in the UK for the three years immediately preceding application.
If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding county court judgments or you are an undischarged bankrupt, then you are automatically ineligible.
You will be asked to run between two points 15 metres apart, in time with a series of bleeps. The timing between bleeps is slow at first but the bleep becomes faster as the test progresses. You will be given full instructions on the day of the test and can make sure you’re prepared by watching the fitness test explained.
This is a face-to-face, group exercise focusing on the competencies associated with the role of the Police Community Support Officer.
For biometric vetting we will take a sample of your fingerprints and a DNA sample (mouth swab), then checks will be made against the appropriate databases. We search to determine whether you have come to police attention or associated with a crime.
We will verify your identification on the day and take photocopies to accompany your baseline vetting form. Further vetting forms will be sent to successful candidates following the assessment centre. You will be asked to supply an email address so that our vetting officer can forward you the necessary links in order to complete a comprehensive vetting form.
Minimum entry requirements
- You must have experience in a public facing role
- You must be proficient in IT technology
- You must have excellent communication and engagement skills
- Applicants must hold a full, clean manual driving licence.
Prior to joining, you will be sent a mandatory e-learning course, which must be completed prior to your start date.
When you first join, you’ll go on a seven-week training course, covering all the essential skills you’ll need as an effective PCSO. Using a mixture of classroom and practical exercises, the course will teach you how to patrol effectively, respond to incidents and meet the needs of the community. To help you, you’ll receive a thorough grounding in personal safety, legal powers, first aid, radio procedure and gathering evidence.
You’ll then continue your development ‘on the job’ within the Safer Neighbourhood Team.
At regular intervals during your career you’ll take part in further training ‘top-ups’.